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ANDERSON COOPER 360 DEGREES
Ralph Nader Accuses Obama of Talking White; Unity Campaign for Obama and Clinton; Pregnant Soldier Found Dead in a Hotel Room; Anne Hathaway's Former Boyfriend Arrested by Feds; Prescription Drugs for Sale on the Internet
Aired June 25, 2008 - 23:00 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: Look out Imus. Now it's Ralph Nader's turn. He's mixing race and politics targeting Barack Obama accusing him of trying to talk white, in his terms, and ignoring problems in what he calls the ghettos.
Did he cross the line? Does he even have his facts straight? We've got the facts so you can decide. That's "Raw Politics" tonight.
Also ahead in this hour, "Crime and Punishment." A pregnant soldier found dead near her North Carolina base. Authorities suspect murder. This is the second pregnant service member found dead in the area. Only this time the mystery could be much harder to solve.
And a new twist to the danger we first reported on, sleaze balls peddling prescription drugs over the Internet. No prescription need. Their age doesn't matter.
What are the online companies doing to stop it? What about the government? You might not like the answer. We're "Keeping Them Honest" tonight.
We begin with race and politics and what to a lot of people today was a striking statement. Striking because it comes straight out of left field, almost literally, from a hero to progressive politics and American consumers way back when to a presidential spoiler in 2000 and 2004, and now apparently a racial bomb thrower.
We're talking about Ralph Nader, who's running for president again. But that's not why he's in the news tonight, not by a long shot.
COOPER: His latest comments may be the most explosive yet.
RALPH NADER, (I) PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: There's only one thing different about Barack Obama when it comes to being a Democratic presidential candidate. He's half African-American.
COOPER: Constant agitator and White House candidate Ralph Nader is taking aim at Barack Obama, saying he wants to appeal to white guilt and show he's not quote, "another politically-threatening African- American politician."
He added this. NADER: I haven't heard him have a strong crackdown on economic exploitation in the ghetto; payday loans, predatory lending, asbestos, lead. You know, what's keeping him from doing that? Is it because he wants to talk white?
COOPER: That's what Nader told the "Rocky Mountain News." But what exactly did he mean by accusing Obama of talking white? We wanted to know, so we asked Nader for an explanation.
NADER: I see him basically being very careful about not challenging the white oligarchic structure, the white-dominated corporate structure, and doing almost everything he can to avoid being seen or associated with some of the earlier African-American civil rights leaders like Jesse Jackson.
COOPER: Nader believes Obama is only giving lip service to fighting corporate corruption and in particular poverty. It did not take long for Obama to respond.
SEN. BARACK OBAMA, (D) PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: Ralph Nader's trying to get attention. He's become a perennial political candidate. I think it's a shame because, if you look at his legacy in terms of consumer protections, it's an extraordinary one. But at this point, he's somebody who is trying to get attention, and his campaign hasn't gotten any traction.
COOPER: In a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll he has just four percent of the support of registered voters, but considering how close the race between Obama and McCain may be, Nader could still have an impact in November.
COOPER: Let's dig deeper now. We're joined by CNN political analyst and radio talk show host Roland Martin; also the Reverend Al Sharpton and Ed Rollins, CNN's contributor and GOP political strategist.
Reverend Sharpton, what about this, what was your reaction?
REV. AL SHARPTON, CIVIL RIGHTS ACTIVIST: I mean I'm the one who has respected Nader in the past. But I think this is way over the line.
First of all, I don't know where Ralph Nader can be the one to decide what talking black is. I mean, that's arrogant is the best way could put it. But I also think it's untrue. I think that Senator Obama, if you remember when the race started, most blacks were polled not supporting him.
He earned black votes because he addressed issues that whites and blacks and Latinos in the Democratic Party, and I think now nationwide he's leading in all the polls, were convinced he was the best candidate. And he has worked with civil rights. He's certainly has talked when we want to talk. We don't agree on everything.
But those of us now that are see now, Martin III and all of us, the older guys, Reverend Lowry, Reverend Jackson, everyone have their accessibility to him. He is not a civil rights leader.
And I think Ralph Nader needs to understand he's running for president for everyone. And to say he's half black, well, he's also half white, and he's gotten some Latino and Asian. He's all American. And that's what we want for president.
All American, not half anything. I think Ralph Nader is about 40 years behind the time on how we deal with the landscape here.
COOPER: Roland, I want to read you something else he says. He said, quote, "He wants to appeal to white guilt," talking about Obama. "You appeal to white guilt by not coming on as black is beautiful, black is powerful. Basically, he's coming on as someone who is not going to threaten the white power structure, whether it's corporate or whether it's simply oligarchic. And they love it. Whites just eat it up."
Does his rhetoric, does it come from another time?
ROLAND MARTIN, CNN POLITICAL ANALYST: The spinners had a song, they say, everybody plays the fool sometimes, no stepping to the rule. This is Ralph Nader. That's what it points to. He's a fundamental --
COOPER: This is the first time the spinners have been quoted in a political context.
MARTIN: Well, they're under appreciated. But the problem with Nader when it comes to this comment is he is defining black issues. But education, that's a black issue. Healthcare, black folks concerned about healthcare the same issues that white, Hispanic, Asians care about, and so the African-Americans.
Not only that, he brings up African-Americans in poverty. Well, you know what, if I'm a white guy in West Virginia right now, in Appalachia, and I'm poor, I want somebody to talk about my stuff as well. That is not a black issue. So Ralph is way out of line.
And McCain should be talking about the same issues. Obama should be talking about the same issues. But to point out the race issue, Nader is nuts.
COOPER: Ed, is Nader is even a factor on this? I mean if he is polling 4 percent, could he still be a player?
ED ROLLINS, REPUBLICAN STRATEGIST: Well, I mean to say this he's the only homeboy on this group, right? I certainly aren't going to tell you how to talk --
COOPER: Define homeboy.
ROLLINS: I can't do that.
The bottom-line here, if you're running for president, you try and talk to all Americans. And basically to be successful, you have to put coalitions together of blacks, whites, Christians, Jews, what have you to be successful. Ralph Nader is today a tragic case of what he may have been at one point in time, which was a crusader for good issues. I think he was a spoiler in 2000. I think he's only in this for ego purposes at this point in time.
The Democrats have a very legitimate candidate who obviously has an excellent opportunity for being the president. I think this kind of rhetoric only does a detriment to the process.
COOPER: Reverend Sharpton, we did find that Jesse Jackson had once criticized Obama during the whole Jena 6 controversy for quote, "Acting like he's white." he said this to a newspaper I think in South Carolina. Is it okay for Jesse Jackson to use that term, not for Ralph Nader?
REV. SHARPTON: You know, when we were dealing with Jena, Michael Bayston, and Martin III and I. I talked to Senator Obama. He released a strong statement that we felt was helpful, as did Senator Clinton and Senator Edwards at the time.
People have the right to state their opinions. But I think that you also have to deal with the fact we all have different roles. You had Ed Brook in the senate and Martin Luther King at the same time. Senator Obama's role is not to lead a march in Jena or Sean Bell.
But there are those of us that do that. His role is he's running for president for everyone and what he has said was very helpful in those issues that we agreed in civil rights. And I think Roland is right, the war, healthcare, all of these things affect blacks.
And I think that blacks understand that, whites understand that. Latinos understand that, which is why he got over 90 percent of the black vote. Now, there will be people that will make whatever opinions they want. But I think that the public has to make their choice.
The last thing, I think, Barack Obama needs to do is run and try to become -- to try and brush up his black credentials for Ralph Nader or his white credentials. And why isn't he challenging John McCain on these issues?
Now, is John McCain being asked to act more white, whatever that is? I mean, that's crazy.
MARTIN: But that the senior citizen than anything else -- Ed --
REV. SHARPTON: It's crazy. And let me just say one thing I think is important. When Ralph Nader ran in 2000, I had him speak in Harlem. I had all the candidates. He spoke in Harlem. I didn't get the idea that he hung out in Harlem too often.
I mean -- so for him to be speaking for a community that I've only seen him in once, and that was the time I invited him. And a lot of people was mad I invited him that time.
I mean, if Ralph wants to come to the black community, there are times he can come and be helpful. Not when he's running for office attacking another candidate who has to taken a stand.
MARTIN: And as Reverend Jackson and they get his butt kicked by folks like me for making that stupid comment as well. And so he backtracked from that. So he got criticized too because it was a ridiculous comment.
COOPER: He later on said he didn't really remember saying that.
ROLLINS: I think the most important thing in this campaign is that people who are leaders in the black community and Bill Clinton have been an extraordinary supporter and had extraordinary support.
Many who started with Hillary Clinton came, as the reverend said, to Barack Obama because he basically went out and was a tremendous candidate. He's the nominee because he's a tremendous candidate.
And I think the bottom-line, I have a Chinese daughter. She's 13 years-old. If we're going to start basically breaking this up by race and color and creed, it's not going to be America. America is a country that needs to move forward. $4 a gallon gas and up is a serious problem.
MARTIN: For blacks or whites.
ROLLINS: For blacks or whites. And I think to a certain extent who can communicate and effectively connect with ordinary voters is going to be the successful candidate.
COOPER: We're going to leave it there. We're going to have more with our panel coming up.
Reverend Sharpton thanks very much. Roland and Ed will be back as well.
As always I'm blogging throughout this hour. You can join the conversation. Go to our new Website, ac360.com.
More politics ahead as I said.
Hillary Clinton and Obama preparing for two days of unity appearances but how much unity is there really behind the scenes?
Candy Crowley investigates.
And later, a pregnant soldier found dead in a hotel room. How did she get there? How did she die? Who was involved with her? If it sounds familiar, this is the second such mystery in less than a year in the same area.
In our "Crime and Punishment" segment, tonight.
Plus fans knew Anne Hathaway's ex was an international man of mystery. But it doesn't even begin to describe him or the intrigue he's now at the center of; a real life thriller featuring millions of dollars and everyone from Hathaway that Bill Clinton to the Pope.
Bizarre details, tonight on "360."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MIKE COX, MICHIGAN ATTORNEY GENERAL: Our nominee, our great guy, Senator John McCain, was born on a military base in Panama. And then something that I found very interesting, or at least as I understood the coverage by the Detroit free press and "The New York Times" and the rest of the media, that apparently Barack Obama was born in a manger.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: That was Michigan's attorney general kind of warming up the room for President Bush tonight at a GOP fundraiser. He got a few polite chuckles as you may have heard and said, "Come on, give me some help here." Shecky Green, he is not.
Laughs or not, the Republican Party has one thing this presidential season of the Democratic Party does not, and at least not yet; unity among the nominee, his former opponents and their supporters. For the next two days Obama and Hillary Clinton will be making unity appearances tomorrow in front of big donors, Friday in public in Unity, New Hampshire.
But how much unity is there really? Today, Obama said he would not be asking the millions of people who've donated small amounts to his campaign to help Hillary Clinton retire her campaign debt. And of course, there's still the issue of Bill Clinton on how supportive he is or isn't.
CNN's Candy Crowley takes us "Up Close."
CANDY CROWLEY, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL CORRESPONDENT: He's flush with cash, watching upwardly bound poll numbers and about to cap off party unity week with a campaign duet. What, him worry about Bill Clinton? He's got Hillary.
OBAMA: And I'm going to be campaigning with her on Friday. So it's understandable that the former president wouldn't want to upstage what is going to be, I think, a terrific unity event.
CROWLEY: It's been 18 days since Hillary Clinton conceded and not a peep from Bill Clinton about Obama's presidential bid.
UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: President Clinton, will you be endorsing Barack Obama?
CROWLEY: His office did follow that with a rather terse statement saying, "Of course Bill Clinton will do whatever he is asked to do. Offer accepted."
OBAMA: I want him involved. He is a brilliant politician. He was an outstanding president. And so I want his help not only in campaigning but also in governing. And I'm confident that I'll get that help.
CROWLEY: But the primary was rough on the Clinton legacy. Obama often criticized the Clinton era. And Bill Clinton erupted more than once over suggestions he was playing the race card.
Give him a break, said a source close to the former president. He needs to decompress.
Hillary Clinton never had the luxury of time. She was at it again today, urging House colleagues to support Obama, vouching for her husband's intentions.
"There will be," she said, "a lot of work for all of us as Democrats to do, including him." She has been a trooper on a one-woman mission this week talking up Obama, and he has been perpetually complimentary, and has finally ponied up a little help to clear up her debt.
OBAMA: We don't have some ten-point strategy to do this. What I said was to my large donors, who are in a position to write large checks, to help Senator Clinton retire her debt.
CROWLEY: As Party Unity Week continues, there is a Thursday night fundraisers' fest. She is bringing her top people to meet his. With varying degrees of enthusiasm, though, most of her money people are on board with Obama. There are a few, particularly, a loyal band of women fundraisers, who are vowing to sit this one out.
Friday, the crescendo, when the pair campaign together in New Hampshire for the money shot. Hard feelings remained. It was that kind of primary. But whatever Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama feel about each other personally, politics is a pragmatic sport. They need each other.
OBAMA: Thanks guys.
CROWLEY: He needs to get elected in the best political atmosphere Democrats have seen in decades.
SEN. HILLARY CLINTON, (D) NEW YORK: God bless America.
CROWLEY: She needs a future in the party which would never forgive her if she sat on her hands.
COOPER: Candy, is there real division still between the campaigns?
CROWLEY: Sure. And remember, there are many levels of the campaign. And as I said, there's sort of the political coming together which clearly is happening. And then there's the personal.
You recall George Bush and John McCain in 2000, they took a long time to sort of see eye to eye on anything, even when George Bush came to office. There were times when it really looked as though McCain was digging at him. So personally is different from politically. And when you get down to the staff level, there really are still hard feelings about this. They went at each other since January a year ago. So those hard feelings still do exist at that level.
And, again, they exist at the fundraising level where, on the one side, you have the Clinton people saying, you know what, he hasn't really reached out to us. I mean there hasn't been that kind of reaching out. This is some of the fundraisers.
And the Obama camp is thinking, you know, they're such sore losers. They keep wanting us to do this and that. So there's a lot of that that goes on.
But again, the goal here is that money shot on Friday. The goal here is to convince voters, Democratic voters, that they are together, that she is dedicated to seeing him get elected. And that is moving forward.
COOPER: It's definitely going to be interesting to see that event on Friday. We'll obviously cover that.
One other late item, political item -- Candy thanks -- one other late political items to talk about.
New numbers from the Gallup Tracking Poll tonight showing the race dead even between John McCain and Barack Obama, 45-45. Yesterday we reported another poll featuring a 12-point Obama lead, different polls, different methods, different days, very different outcome. And so it goes.
Just ahead, John McCain's critics are doing their best to link him to President Bush. So does rival Barack Obama or do their claims hold up to the facts?
We're "Keeping them Honest."
Plus a young pregnant soldier is found dead in a hotel room. Authorities calling her death suspicious, but was it murder? The latest details on this developing mystery next, on "360."
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
SEN. JOHN MCCAIN, (R) PRESUMPTIVE PRESIDENTIAL NOMINEE: America's dependence on foreign oil was a troubling situation 35 years ago. It was an alarming situation 20 years ago. It's a dangerous situation today.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Senator John McCain outlying his energy policy today in Las Vegas. The Republican presidential candidate said he will seek to break U.S. reliance on foreign oil by 2025 by stepping up nuclear power, conservation, and offshore drilling. McCain, of course, used to oppose offshore drilling, and his recent turnaround has given his critics new ammunition in their effort to constantly link him to President Bush.
Barack Obama always seems to mention Bush and McCain in the same sentence. But is that fair, is it accurate? Would a McCain presidency really be a third Bush term as many Democrats suggest?
CNN's Tom Foreman tonight "Keeping them Honest."
TOM FOREMAN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Democrats are trying to make the case. And "Keeping them Honest," John McCain does share many policy points with the president. Arguing for expanding off-shore oil production for example, the president said, it was environmentally safe and the senator echoed.
MCCAIN: It's safe enough these days. Not even hurricanes Katrina and Rita could cause significant spillage from the battered rigs off the coast of New Orleans and Houston.
FOREMAN: On many issues, the two generally agree. They oppose abortion rights and gay marriage. They want a strong border and immigration reform. McCain wants to keep the Bush tax cuts and free trade.
Both men put faith in market forces rather than government for helping people with healthcare and retirement. But there are also real differences.
JENNIFER DONAHUE, NEW HAMPSHIRE INSTITUTE OF POLITICS: Senator McCain is the old school Republican. Cut spending first, look at foreign policy in an aggressive, tough fashion. Don't be afraid to engage if you think the mission is right. And deal with taxation in the overall cycle of the economy.
FOREMAN: That is a subtle distinction, but the results are stark.
GEORGE W. BUSH, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We're not in a recession. We're in a slowdown.
MCCAIN: I believe we are in a recession. I think the numbers indicate that.
FOREMAN: McCain speaks with contempt about excessive government spending in the Bush years, railing against pork projects. He talks about global warming and energy independence with much more urgency than the president does.
McCain has sharply criticized interrogation techniques used on international prisoners, and while he's always supported the war in Iraq, he has also been a chief critic of how the White House has waged that war.
Listen to him in 2004, long before the troop surge began. MCCAIN: I was there last August. I have said since then that we needed more troops. We need it very badly.
FOREMAN: For McCain, it is a delicate balance. He must look like a president if he wants to win, but not too much like that one.
Tom Foreman, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: We got an uneasy task to pull off.
Joining me for a strategy session: CNN's senior political analyst Gloria Borger; once again, CNN's political analyst, Roland Martin and Republican strategist, Ed Rollins.
Ed, I mean, on the one hand, McCain doesn't want to distance himself too much to alienate the conservative base. I mean there are folks out there who still like President Bush.
ROLLINS: The drill here it's whether you differentiate yourself from policies, whether it's economic policies or war policies or what have you, which may be unpopular. But the overarching thing here is about leadership.
George Bush has failed in the American public's eye to lead this country effectively, whether it's on Katrina, whether it's on the war, whether it's on the economy. And what McCain has to do is convince people that he's a much stronger and different leader.
He's always been a maverick. He has to draw a contrast both with the inexperience of Obama and equally as important he has to draw a contrast with the kind of leadership George Bush has provided or not provided.
COOPER: Gloria, particularly on certain issues where there may be similarities, the economy, extending the tax cuts, how does McCain assure voters that he can do better than the president?
GLORIA BORGER, CNN SENIOR POLITICAL ANALYST: I think it goes back to Ed's leadership point. It's really also a competency and a management point.
I mean he's going to say I'm going to pay more attention to these issues than the previous administration did, and I'm going to manage them better. And that's one of the reasons he went down to New Orleans to talk about Katrina.
He says I would never let something like this happen on my watch. I believe the economy is in a recession. I'm going to tell the truth to you. And by the way, I'm going to fix things faster than George W. Bush did.
COOPER: Roland, there's no doubt that Obama is going to continue to hit away at this idea that McCain is a third term in the Bush administration. MARTIN: Absolutely. But the reality is that's not what's going to put him over the top. Look every president is different. George H.W. Bush, he may have run on the Reagan legacy, but he was different from Ronald Reagan. When Al Gore ran, he may have trumpeted what Bill Clinton did as president, he was vice president, but he was saying this is how I'm going to be different, certainly his behavior when it came to the oval office.
But Obama has to do this. It's no different than when Republicans for years say Democrats liberal, liberal, liberal. You want to stick a label on that particular person, hoping that it buys off some voters.
So there is no doubt he'll use it, just like McCain will use -- you hear the words naive, not sure about national security, weak. You use phrases to get your supporters excited to say, this guy's not a good person.
COOPER: Ed, I want to play you something that John McCain said about Obama linking him to Bush.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
MCCAIN: You'll hear from my opponent's campaign in every speech, in every interview, every press release that I'm running for President Bush's third term. You'll hear every policy of the president is described as the Bush-McCain policy.
Why does Senator Obama believe it's so important to repeat that idea over and over again? Because he knows it's very difficult to get Americans to believe something that they know is false.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
COOPER: Ignoring the green background, is that an effective response?
ROLLINS: No, it's not an effective response. The response is listen, I've had 22 years of experience, both in the military and the United States Senate and the Congress. I know the issues. I'm far more experienced than George Bush was when I came here.
I understand how to move this country forward. I understand how on day one to be commander-in-chief. Whether you want the war or don't want the war, we're in a war. Our troops deserve the very best. Our country deserves the very best. I'm a leader.
COOPER: So it boils down to national security. You think it's going to boil down with John McCain to Iraq, national security, I can better handle this.
ROLLINS: He can't walk away. It's the strength, and it's the weakness of Barack Obama. He can't basically -- neither of them can put forth an economic plan that's automatically going to -- and what it really is I'm experienced on day one. I can be an effective leader.
BORGER: And, Anderson, he turns the economy into a national security issue. He says, you know, the oil independence is the national security issue. So he's even turning domestic policy to his strengths, which is national security, and that differentiates him from Barack Obama and from George Bush.
MARTIN: But he has to hope it creates some separation, Anderson. That's the most important thing. He cannot sit here and allow Obama to have the wind at his back when it comes to the economy.
But again, you talk about -- Gloria talked about it earlier, risk, change. The voter is going to decide. And one of the things ends up -- so McCain's argument, it may not really be the most important point. Will the American people buy into what Obama is saying, or would they say, you know what, I'd rather have this guy because I can trust him more.
COOPER: We're going have to leave it there. Roland Martin, Gloria Borger and Ed Rollins thanks very much.
Up next, a shocking crime, the murder of a pregnant marine. Now a pregnant soldier has been found dead near her base. Was she also murdered?
New details in our "Crime and Punishment" report.
Also ahead, the ex-boyfriend of a Hollywood star accused of an unholy scam, swindling investors out of millions by convincing them he was, get this, the Vatican's CFO. The bizarre details coming up on "360."
COOPER: You're looking at a picture of Megan Touma, the pregnant soldier stationed at Ft. Bragg in North Carolina, was found dead in a hotel room.
Authorities call the case suspicious. It comes just months after Marine Lance Corporal Maria Lauterbach, also pregnant, was murdered allegedly by another marine based at Camp Lejeune, North Carolina.
Now police say, they solved that crime but now they have this new mystery. So let's get the latest developments with tonight's "Crime and Punishment" report.
Here's "360's" Randi Kaye.
RANDI KAYE, CNN CORRESPONDENT: A dedicated and decorated soldier, preparing for another volunteer assignment with the army, dead inside a North Carolina hotel room. How Megan Touma died is a mystery.
Touma's body was found over the weekend after someone reported a strong odor coming from Room 143. The 23-year-old dental specialist was seven months pregnant when she died. She had just arrived here a couple of weeks ago to be based at Ft. Bragg.
The army says Touma had been serving in Germany for three years. She was last seen at Ft. Bragg June 12th. She had the option of staying on base while her paperwork was processed or pay for a hotel. She chose the hotel.
MAJOR ANGELA FUNARO, FORT BRAGG: We don't have any knowledge of any guests that she had with her; if she had any guests at all.
KAYE: The hotel wouldn't say if Touma had visitors. Police are calling her death suspicious. They're waiting on the autopsy to know how she died.
Touma's ex-husband said she told him she was going to name her son after him even though he wasn't the father. El Sayed Touma says they were married three years. This would have been her first child.
EL SAYED TOUMA, MEGAN TOUMA'S HUSBAND: We had a great relationship. We remained good friends. We e-mailed each other.
I mean, I still love her. I mean, I am married now and I have -- you know, I have a wife, and I have a baby on the way. But, I mean, I still love Megan. I still do. I will never stop.
KAYE: Touma's aunt told CNN she currently had a boyfriend. She met him, a fellow soldier, while serving in Germany and had moved to North Carolina to join him at Ft. Bragg. The aunt did not know if he had fathered her unborn child.
A soldier who served with Touma in Germany told CNN via e-mail, "She was very happy to be expecting her baby. She also showed me her ring and told me she was getting married."
MAJ. FUNARO: Here's a beautiful young woman. She's seven months pregnant. It's just sad and deeply troubling.
KAYE: Ft. Bragg is providing witnesses and helping police establish a time line. Grief doesn't wait for answers.
On her brother's MySpace page, a picture of them. His mood, crushed. He writes, "RIP, rest in peace big sis, we love you and you are in our hearts forever." In her hometown of Cold Spring, Kentucky, shock.
CONNIE NELSON, FAMILY FRIEND: Megan, honey, was a sweet girl, come skipping down the road in her little long hair; just sweet as she can be. Was a cheerleader, did well in school.
KAYE: Her success carried over to her military career. Among Touma's awards, the Global War on Terrorism medal. She'd also completed a combat lifesaver course, an advanced course to help her save a fellow soldier's life in the field. Not enough, it appears, to save her own.
COOPER: Randi, is there any indication tonight that anyone thought the soldier was missing? You reported her body had been in the room long enough to develop an odor.
KAYE: Yes, Anderson. In fact, her family apparently thought she was missing because according to the ex-husband tonight, he says that her mother hadn't heard from her. So she called Ft. Bragg and was apparently told, according to him, that her daughter had gone AWOL.
We asked the army at Ft. Bragg about that tonight. And they said they're investigating her unit to see whether proper procedures were followed. They also said one of her friends, another woman in the military base at Ft. Bragg, had told the family that she had gone AWOL. Where that report came from is what they're trying to get to the bottom of.
What's also interesting here tonight is what about the hotel? How did this woman seven months pregnant, new to town just two weeks, how did she go unnoticed? How did it go unnoticed she was missing? They had daily maid service at the hotel. Her body wasn't discovered until it was so badly decomposed, according to the ex-husband, Anderson, she had to be identified by her dental records.
There had been some time that passed between her death and when she was found. What happened during that time, what was done to find her, if anything, is still under investigation.
COOPER: We'll keep following it. Randi thanks.
We're following several other stories as well tonight. Erica Hill joins us with the "360 Bulletin" -- Erica.
ERICA HILL, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Anderson, a Massachusetts jury has convicted Neil Entwistle of shooting to death his wife and their 9- month-old daughter, rejecting his claim that she killed the baby and herself. Entwistle, you may recall, fled to his native Britain after those murders three years ago.
In Florida, a jury convicted a man of killing writer Alan Shalleck. He's the one who worked with the co-creator of "Curious George" to bring the cartoon monkey to TV. Vincent Puglisi will be sentenced in July. In 2006, he and another man went to Shalleck's home to rob him, and it turned deadly. The co-defendant took a plea deal.
And the search for a group of hikers missing since Sunday is over in the Sierra Nevada and with a happy ending. The nine teens and two adults showed up at a camp store today miles away from the search zone. That group was part of an outward bound adventure course, Anderson.
COOPER: Well, that's sure some good news they showed up.
Here's tonight's "Beat 360" photo, Erica.
House speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Hillary Clinton leaving a news conference on Capitol Hill today. Here's the caption from our staff winner Cate: "Sold. The House Speaker seat goes to you in the back for, oh, let's just say $10.3 million."
HILL: My goodness. Just a little bit left at that point.
COOPER: That's the campaign debt. Think you can do better? Go to our website, ac360.com, click on the link, send us your entry. We'll announce the winner at the end of the program. Remember the winner gets a new fancy t-shirt.
Up next, the former boyfriend of "Devil Wears Prada" star Anne Hathaway busted by the Feds for allegedly pulling off a devilish scam involving millions of dollars and the Vatican.
Plus easy access to dangerous drugs online. The government knows it's a problem so why aren't they doing anything to stop it? We're "Keeping Them Honest," coming up.
COOPER: That's actress Anne Hathaway and her former boyfriend Raffaello Follieri in certainly happier times. They're no longer a couple. And he's in deep trouble with the Feds.
Prosecutors say the Italian businessman who's been living large in America for years swindled deep pocket investors out of millions of dollars by spinning a web of deceit as bizarre as it is brazen. His alleged scam hinged on a lie about his relationship with, of all people, the Pope.
"360's" David Mattingly reports.
DAVID MATTINGLY, CNN CORRESPONDENT: It's a mix worthy of a best- selling work of fiction, a former president, a billionaire friend, and a leading actress all connected to an Italian financier who claimed he was tight with the Pope. But federal prosecutors say financier Raffaello Follieri, who rubbed elbows with Bill Clinton and dated summer blockbuster star Anne Hathaway was living a posh life built on lies and the money of others.
Now targeted for fraud and money laundering, the 29-year-old Follieri is accused of scamming over $1 million from real estate investors, claiming he was the chief financial officer for the Vatican and able to purchase church property under market value. Instead, he allegedly used investor money to pay for a $37,000-a-month Manhattan apartment. There were also expensive gifts, meals, medical bills, and trips with his former girlfriend.
DAVID CAPLAN, PEOPLE MAGAZINE: Follieri also really used Anne Hathaway's celebrity to gain access to a lot of these investors that he wanted to work with. Many times she was at many of the events together. They vacationed together. And she was really essentially a magnet for him to meet the likes of Bill Clinton, Oscar de la Renta and all these other, really, players in the industry that he wanted to meet.
MATTINGLY: The "Wall Street Journal" reported Follieri used his connections to meet the former president. And paid Clinton aide Doug Ben (ph) $400,000 to help meet deep pocket investors including Clinton's close friend, billionaire Ron Berkel. Berkel's investment company reported sued and settled with Follieri last year for allegedly pocketing $1.3 million in company money. Berkel's company is not mentioned in the Federal complaint against Follieri. Neither is the former president nor his aides nor is Anne Hathaway.
FLORA EDWARDS, FOLLIERI ATTORNEY: I think being arrested is a traumatic experience for anyone. And I think he is certainly traumatized, as would be natural.
MATTINGLY: Follieri remains in federal custody. The court is seeking a $21 million bond. His attorney tells CNN he is not guilty.
We reached out to representatives of Bill Clinton and Anne Hathaway. We haven't received a reply.
David Mattingly, CNN, Atlanta.
COOPER: Next on 360, buying drugs over the Internet without a prescription. Just about anyone can do it, it turns out. So why is the government letting it happen? The stunning answer; we're "Keeping Them Honest" when 360 continues.
COOPER: You may not know this, but some of the most addictive, dangerous, and powerful drugs in the world can be bought over the Internet without a prescription. The government knows about the illicit web sales of prescription drugs, so do search engines like Google and Yahoo.
This is a story we first brought you a few weeks ago. Tonight is a stunning new development. We're learning why the government and others may be doing nothing to stop it.
"Keeping Them Honest," here's Drew Griffin of CNN's "Special Investigations Unit."
DREW GRIFFIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT: Dr. Tounouse, can I show you this prescription bottle?
We thought after chasing down doctors, confronting a rogue pharmacy, and basically exposing just how blatantly easy it is to go online, purchase prescription drugs, and get them delivered to our door no questions asked, we might hear a reaction from the government on what's being done to stop it, and we did. Just not the one we thought.
JOE RANNAZZISI, DRUG ENFORCEMENT ADMINISTRATION: It's not a loophole -- well, it's not a loophole. There is an agency that conducts those investigations.
GRIFFIN: There is, in fact, a loophole so big that the bureaucratic agencies in Washington are finger-pointing over who should stop it. The White House sent us to the DEA, the DEA to the FDA. All the while, the government seems to be MIA in stopping Internet drug abuse.
JOHN HORTON, PRESIDENT, LEGITSCRIPTS.COM: This is a big problem, and we have got a lot of work to do in this area.
GRIFFIN: John Horton worked for five years in the White House office on drug policy. And like others, he told us prescription drugs are the new cocaine and heroin of drug abusers. The Internet has changed the game on how it's delivered.
HORTON: There are more prescription drug abusers than there are for methamphetamine, cocaine, and heroin combined today in the United States.
GRIFFIN: Full disclosure here, Horton is trying to start a business that polices Internet pharmacies to make sure they are legal. His potential customers are Google and Yahoo.
Horton says the Internet search engines make an estimated $1 billion a year advertising Internet pharmacies. Both Google and Yahoo told CNN they do screen their pharmacies to make sure they obey the law. Horton is convinced Google and Yahoo aren't doing much of anything.
HORTON: By our estimate, we think that only about 1 percent of Internet pharmacies are following those rules and verification processes.
GRIFFIN: Want proof? We bought Prozac and the antidepressant Elavil from the site called linepharmacy.com. We accessed the site through Google. We bought the drugs without prescriptions. Shortly after our report, linepharmacy.com disappeared from the Internet.
Want another example?
HORTON: Just the other day, we were able to pose as a minor, a 13- year-old, and without a prescription fill an order for over $500 worth of Soma, an addictive prescription-only drug without a prescription, posing as a minor.
COOPER: So does anyone check these Internet drug sites? Google and Yahoo say yes. But do they really? We're "Keeping Them Honest" coming up in part two of Drew's investigation.
And later, redefining the skyscraper with dizzying results, an amazing new building, the turntable tower, ahead on "360."
COOPER: On Capitol Hill this week, hearings are being held on the illegal Internet sale of prescription drugs, drugs like Prozac, Zoloft and Vicodin. Now, as we told you before the break, rogue pharmacies are selling these drugs without a prescription. Basically, all they want is money.
The risks are obvious. Imagine if a child gets their hands on these kinds of pills, what could happen?
As you're about to see, there's plenty of blame to go around in Washington and on the Web. We're "Keeping Them Honest." Once again, here's Drew Griffin of CNN's "Special Investigations Unit."
GRIFFIN: There's too much money in the search engine business, critics say, for Internet providers to cut off the flow of online drug sites. That's why Carmen Catizone with the National Pharmacy Board says companies like Google and Yahoo enable these drug sites to sell hundreds of millions of dollars of prescription drugs a year.
CARMEN CATIZONE, NATIONAL ASSOCIATIO OF BOARDS OF PHARMACY: Google and Yahoo, they're accepting advertisement from these sites. And when those advertisements appear on their Websites, people think they're legitimate websites, and therefore they go to them.
GRIFFIN: Google and Yahoo both told us they rely on a third company to check on and verify that the Internet pharmacy sites are legitimate. But that same company allowed a mystery buyer posing as a 13-year-old boy to buy Soma.
After we told them about the purchase, the verification of that drug site was suspended, meaning only that they can't advertise on the search engines. You can still go to the Website.
Google and Yahoo both told us they're willing to do more, and Google even told us, it "has been heavily engaged on this issue, working with government agencies," though Google didn't say precisely how.
That led us straight back to the government; actually, the government came to us. The White House Office of Drug Policy, the drug czar wanted to talk. Then a day before our interview, we were told the DEA would talk instead.
When we got to the DEA, a deputy director named Joe Rannazzisi told us his agency deals only with controlled substances, like morphine and oxycodone; drugs so potentially deadly Congress banned their sale over the Internet. But most prescription drugs, many of which are just as deadly, are not controlled.
RANNAZZISI: What I can tell you is that the Drug Enforcement Administration has statutory authority to regulate and control the distribution of controlled substances. The two drugs you just mentioned, Prozac and Elavil, are not controlled substances.
GRIFFIN: And Soma? Not controlled?
RANNAZZISI: Soma is not -- it's not a controlled substance.
GRIFFIN: Highly addictive drug flying over the Internet?
RANNAZZISI: We do see some abuse of that drug, yes. However, again, since it's not a controlled substance, I don't have the statutory authority to investigate the distribution, or the illegal distribution of that drug.
GRIFFIN: Confusing? That's why critics say it's so easy for the rogue Internet pharmacies to operate.
Drew Griffin, CNN, Washington.
COOPER: And it keeps on happening. We'll continue to follow this story.
Erica Hill joins us once again with "360 News and Business Bulletin" -- Erica.
HILL: And Anderson, we begin with a very closely watched case. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling that child rapists cannot be executed; that 5-4 decision stems from the appeal of a Louisiana man sentenced to death in 2003 for raping his 8-year-old stepdaughter. The ruling affects six states.
For the first time in nine months, the Federal Reserve voted to hold its key short term interest rate steady. It will remain at 2 percent. The widely expected move comes as many economists are focusing more on inflation than an economic slowdown.
And plans for the world's first rotating skyscraper. It's set to be built in Dubai. Those plans unveiled today. The architect who designed it said each floor of this 80-story tower will be capable of rotating independently powered by wind turbines. He expects to complete the project by 2010. Get this, even though this guy's never built a skyscraper before. Oh, sign me up for one. Not only would I like to get sick.
COOPER: I haven't heard that detail. Oh my God. It does look kind of cool, though. It's all pre-fabricated apparently, the actual unit.
HILL: It's kind of cool but I think I would like to check it out on floor 3 instead of floor 75.
COOPER: Sure. You might get a little nauseous with the constantly revolving.
Now it's time for "Beat 360 winners." It's our daily challenge to viewers; a chance to show up our staffers by coming up with a better caption for the picture we post on our blog every day and a chance to dance and listen to cheesy music.
For those who haven't heard, we've raised the stakes for the new prize, a "Beat 360" t-shirt. Tonight's picture, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senator Clinton on the Hill today. Why is everyone laughing -- after talking to the media -- laughing about our t-shirts, no doubt.
Our staff winner tonight is Cate. Her caption, "Sold! The House Speaker seat goes to you in the back for, oh, let's just say $10.3 million." HILL: Was that gunshots? What was that?
COOPER: I don't know. It was an auction sound. Our viewer winner is Shawn from Overland Park, Kansas. Shawn's caption, "Remember dear, I'm third in line to the presidency, not you."
HILL: That's where you pull out the meows, I think.
COOPER: Yes, I think so.
You can check out all the entries we received in our blog. Play along tomorrow by going to our new website, ac360.com.
"The Shot" is next. Check this out. Away she goes. Why go up and down an escalator when you can just spin in place? Wait until you see what happens when one of our staff members tried this stunt.
COOPER: Erica, time now for "The Shot." I was just checking our blog.
We found this on Andrew Sullivan's Website. Not sure where it was taped or when. It's kind of unusual, looks a little risky. Certainly an interesting way to use an escalator. I didn't know this was possible.
HILL: I'm sure this wasn't encouraged, by the way.
COOPER: No. She makes it look easy, though. But is it. So to find out we dispatched our intrepid staff member Ashley to give escalator twirl a go. Her mission was a top secret location, we can't tell you where. The alarms went off a few times but she managed to do at least one rotation without falling off.
HILL: Ashley deserves like an extra day off or something.
COOPER: I know.
HILL: -- for doing that because it looks really dangerous.
COOPER: Doesn't look entirely comfortable either. I like that she keeps trying, though. We congratulate Ashley on her attempts. Let's hope she doesn't start a trend.
Please do not try this at home or anywhere. Ashley is a trained professional with years of escalator experience.
HILL: Which is clear from her abilities right there.
You can see all the most recent shots at our new Website, ac360.com. There you can see other segments from the program, read the blog, check out the "Beat 360" picture.
HILL: Maybe win a t-shirt.
COOPER: You never know.
That does it for this edition of "360." Thanks for watching.
Larry King starts right now. I'll see you tomorrow night.